Review: Before the Witches by Karina Cooper

18 May

Before the Witches by Karina Cooper
HarperCollins (May 17, 2011)
e-book: $1.99
ISBN: 9780062105172

Favorite Lines: “She didn’t have to fake her tears. One plopped on the burner, sizzled, smoked.” (p. 29)

In America, they didn’t care about witches. But all that was about to change.

Katya Zhuvova fled a country that feared her gifts, but her escape to Seattle left her at the mercy of a ruthless man. With no one left to turn to, Katya hatches a desperate escape plan. Undercover Detective Nigel Ferris is determined to bring down a prostitution ring, whatever the cost. In order to the get answers he needs, he attempts to win the trust of one of the prostitutes involved—but one look at the deceptively sultry Katya and the cool, objective cop disappears. Before either can put their plans into place, Mother Nature shrugs: a cataclysm rocks Seattle, and life is turned upside down.

Brought together by chance, Nigel and Katya are in the fight for their lives. Surrounded by death and fear, shattered by immeasurable loss, they have only a bond forged in fire to cling to as they struggle to survive in a world gone straight to hell.

I recently read a blog post about how suspense writers grab and keep their audience. It’s by zigzagging when telling the story instead of  going from point A to Z. Before the Witches is that kind of book. It reminds us “of what came before and how it affects the next steps” of the story.

In Before the Witches we are introduced to a prostitute and the cop who would rescue her. There is little time to get to know anybody because of the story’s short time frame, but we learn the heroine is not a prostitute by choice. She is a victim of human trafficking. I don’t know that I’d call it a lack of characterization, but how well can you know the person you just met? The story works though because it is filled with non-stop action and a roller coaster emotional ride.

Earthquakes and floods are only a few of the events the Katya and Nigel have to survive. If they survive at all. Wait this is a romance novella, so yeah there’s a happily ever after. It’s not a sweet HEA because really how can you survive the world ending happily? Have I mentioned the scorching sex that takes place in this book? Location is everything. lol You’ll know what I mean when you read it.

Here’s what you need to know: Cooper has a knack for putting the reader at ease before slamming her with a serious, potentially fatal event. She’s not afraid of making tough choices. Before the Witches is a story that tells why the world of Cooper’s Dark Mission series is shaped the way it is. It is a book about two characters during the Armageddon. The very Armageddon which the Church blames on witches.

The first book in the series is called Blood of the Wicked, it is quickly followed by Lure of the Wicked. The books will be released in May and June.

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